Off Grid Solar and Ebikes Are Changing the World!

Solarcabin

Active Member
Region
USA
I have lived off grid for over 20 years now with just a small 400 watt solar power system.

That system powers my lights, water pump, laptop computers, wifi hotspot, 12 volt fridge/freezer and recharges all my gadgets and tools. With LIFPO4 batteries now affordable you can get a system like mine in the US for about $1500 complete.

This year I decided I also wanted my transportation to be more sustainable so I got a 35- watt ebike and second battery and I can recharge that in about 3 hours when the sun is out and I have plenty of excess power. That is enough to ride for 30 miles at 20mph for going to town and resupplying and for my adventure riding and is about the same distance I would travel in my gas truck on an average day though I would be going faster.

Now my situation may sound unique and even strange to people accustomed to grid living but there are approximately 1.7 Billion people that live off grid in the world.

"As of 2013, current estimates are that 1.7 billion people in the world live off the grid. According to Home Power Magazine, at least 180,000 families are living off the grid in the United States and that number increases each year."

Now for some people living off grid is a hardship if you have no way to run lights, keep food fresh, pump water and have schools, hospitals and run a business but off grid and microgrid power is quickly changing that as it is now affordable and reliable and can be used anywhere.

Many countries have long used bicycles and low power scooters as their primary transportation and for many parts of the world that form of transportation is cheap and low cost and can be used all year. It is used for personal transportation but also for many businesses.

Ebikes are fantastic transportation as they require no gas, no license, no registration and most can do at least 20mph and have a range of 20miles per charge. They are affordable with lower end 350 watt ebikes at around $400 US and much cheaper in other countries. They require very little maintenance and spare parts are widely available. They take up much less road space than a car and no garage needed to park and can be taken in your home for security. They can be used on battery or pedaled and on battery even older and out of shape people can ride a bike again.

Now that people in villages and rural areas or people that just can't afford or have access to the grid can finally have power and they can get affordable ebikes with longer range for personal and business use you are going to see a massive change and improved lives all over the world.

People will finally have power for their homes, schools, hospitals and businesses and low cost efficient transportation to get around and run a business and they are reducing their carbon footprint and pollution from gas burners so their health and well being will be greatly improved!

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George S.

Well-Known Member
California wants to ban small generators. On the RV sites they talk about flimsy evidence for climate change and Commie bureaucrats. I pointed out that LFP batteries are cheap, solar is cheap, high efficiency heating and cooling is reasonable, and there are more and more charging stations. One guy said 'That's just dreaming".

The best deal on LFP is probably the 32700 cells that Battery Hookup welds into 20p packs. You use 4 to make a 100AH/12v pack for $220. The packs, in a sturdy case with BMS, can be found for $350 or so. Even if you want to go to 10 kwh, it is not a lot of money. I'd suggest going with 4 sets in series to make two 48V and 5kwh packs. Big 48v inverters are easy to find.

There is nothing easier than a fully solar ebike. There are boost MPPT controllers on Ebay. Just plug them into the solar. Then plug them into the charge port with the right connector, unless you have proprietary lock out stuff. I bought some Black Friday solar panels for $70 apiece the other week. Two panels will do an ebike in a couple of hours, and it's free forever. If you have an LFP bank you can outwit the clouds.

Transportation efficiency can be measured in watt hours per mile. An ebike going 20 mph can achieve around 25wh per mile, but a car can be 10 times that. The ebike gets a lot less efficient at 30 mph. Still, if you have a solar charging system, it may not matter much. The problem is people don't stress the tremendous advantages of ebikes. They argue about PAS systems, the best place to put the motor, how rigourous the battery assembly is. No one should have to ride an ebike with exposed wires or fat welds. Goodness no!

Ebikes are efficient. They work as transport. They are perfect for solar. It's a fantastic technology.